Each autumn I hear its siren song -- and each autumn I resist it, though I must admit it's getting tougher. Despite the allure of being a part of something big, there are always other, more important things to do. For that reason, I do not plan to join thousands of others in writing a 50,000-word manuscript in the next four weeks. Instead, I intend to enjoy a pleasant lull between novels eleven and twelve.
National Novel Writing Month but rather a time I scan articles, read books, and write emails in preparation for the second Carson Chronicles book. I will do what I have done a dozen times in six years. I will dive into the glorious past.
Learning about distant eras, places, and events is half the fun of being a writer of historical fiction. When I lay the groundwork for a novel, I become a student again — a person who embarks on a series of new and interesting journeys.
This fall such journeys have taken me, figuratively, to Tijuana and Ensenada, Mexico; San Diego, California; Gettysburg, Pennsylvania; Flagstaff, Arizona; Duluth, Minnesota; and war-torn France in the summer and fall of 1918. I hope to gain what I can from each of these trips before I begin writing the sequel to River Rising in early January.
I also hope to aggressively market some of my older novels and see two audiobook projects through to their completion. Chaz Allen, who narrated The Fire and the first three American Journey books, has already begun recording River Rising. Allyson Voller, who narrated The Mirror last summer, will start Hannah's Moon later this fall.
One of these years I will participate in NaNoWriMo, if only to be a part of a creative writing event that has grown into a phenomenon since 1999. This year, however, I am content to let others have the fun. When taking a breather between 140,000-word novels, the temptation to write even more words on demand is one I can still resist.